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Bushfires can be tragic, destroying property and lives. But bushfires are a part of Australian life, so we need to take the necessary steps to protect our properties. While we cannot remove the threat of bushfires, we can work to minimise its effects.
It is important to be prepared before fire season hits. There are many things you can do to minimise risks to your home.
Clear the Property
Many times a home does not burn down from the main fire but from embers or burning debris, so the less flammable material you have around your property the better.
Prune trees that are close to the house and saw off any branches that are overhanging the roof. You should also clean out all gutters regularly. Leaves are highly flammable. If you have wood stacked in the yard, keep it as far away from the house as possible.
Keep your lawn cut short, rake up any leaves and use a brush cutter to clear away weeds, vines and other plant matter. In short, keep the yard well-trimmed. It is a worthwhile investment to buy a range of Stihl power tools , things like a chainsaw, leaf blower and brush cutter, to facilitate the easy clearing of your yard.
The more attention you pay to keeping the yard cleared, the lower the fire risk at your property, so keep at it.
Don’t store cardboard boxes or papers in or near your home. If you collect these to recycle, keep them away from your home or keep your stocks limited. Also ensure that all flammable liquid is stored away from your house, this includes paint, thinners, petrol and oils. These can easily explode and create a fire ball under intense heat. If you have LPG gas, make sure the valve faces away from the house.
Have at least one good garden hose that will reach right to the permitter of your property. If you are in a fire prone area, it is good to have other water sources in case of fire, a water tank, dam or swimming pool for example. You will also need a portable pump to pump the water to fight fires.
An Evacuation Plan
If you are warned to evacuate you must follow orders. No property is worth your life. The greatest risk to life is when occupants stay too long at their property. Have an evacuation plan and make sure the whole family is clear on what that is. Have any treasured possessions and household pets close at hand and ready to grab if you need to evacuate.
If you happen to rent a home in an area at risk of bushfire, you should make a point of talking to your landlord about fire safety. If the property does not meet fire safety standards and the landlord will not cooperate, you should speak to your local fire service.
Finally, make sure you are adequately insured for loss in the event of fire.